‘You are all responsible for our death’

Beirut: “[The] Assad regime is killing us and destroying our city. You are all responsible for our death. Your silence is keeping him strong. Remember we only wanted to live in a free Syria.”

This despairing “message to the world” from the people of Zabadani, a hill town near the Lebanese border that has been under siege since 2012, was posted on Twitter on August 15 as the seven-week battle between the Syrian army, backed by Hezbollah fighters, and opposition rebel groups intensified.

Zabadani citizens have endured more than 600 barrel bombs – huge, improvised explosives dropped from Syrian air force helicopters – in the two months since June, in a wave of terror from the sky that was met with rockets and heavy mortars from rebel groups.

sydneymorningherald on Facebook

A photo provided by Syrian anti-government activist group Douma Revolution shows Syrian citizens after an air strike in Douma this month. Photo: Douma Revolution
A photo provided by Syrian anti-government activist group Douma Revolution shows Syrian citizens after an air strike in Douma this month. Photo: Douma Revolution
Men transport a casualty after the air strikes in Douma. Photo: Reuters
Men transport a casualty after the air strikes in Douma. Photo: Reuters
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